La Vie Lyonnaise #10 | J-29

As my time in Lyon draws to a close, it feels as though time has cruelly sped up. I’ve begun to make a dent in the unexciting list of departure-related chores, but I still have a list the length of my arm of places in and around Lyon that I want to see (and of boulangeries I’m yet to try), though the time is disappearing – and fast. Fortunately, I’ve already whipped out the felt markers and drawn up a calendar to hold myself accountable to making the most of the remaining weeks in Lyon.

Having sniffled my way through the sixteen hour bus journey home from Bamberg at the end of April, I promptly fell ill upon returning to Lyon. I didn’t time it well, as finding a pharmacy open on a Sunday – or for that matter a bank holiday, something which unfortunately followed the aforementioned Sunday – is akin to going on a journey to find the Holy Grail. Needless to say, I didn’t fancy taking on that mission when I was feeling distinctly under the weather and waited until Tuesday. Traipsing to the pharmacy in a state of semi-exhaustion and then having to describe your symptoms (and respond to fast-paced questions) in French is less than fun when you’re running on 50% brainpower. I was sent on my way fairly quickly with a bag of over-the-counter medication, and was feeling back to normal a week later.

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Jardin Botanique de Lyon

Whilst on the road to recovery, I had an afternoon of invigilating with possibly the most inept colleague I have ever encountered. Besides spending the whole afternoon marking his own papers, he also asked a student taking the exam if he could borrow a pen, made a total hash of the attendance sheet (which resulted in a student leaving the exam hall with their paper) and then left Pierre-Antoine and me to hand in all the papers to the secretaries. How helpful . . .

I then spent several days marking my share of exam papers, occasionally coming across some rather amusing little translations. (Entertainment was guaranteed, since the text was all about Donald Trump.) I couldn’t help but smile at one student’s rendering of excès bureaucratiques as ‘office overdoses’. Another student clearly knew their slang, but misused it spectacularly: ‘By 2014, Donald Trump was pissing against “the war against coalt [sic] lead [sic] by Obama”’ (Dès 2014, Donald Trump s’insurgeait contre « la guerre contre le charbon menée par Obama ».) As I taught an LEA3 module, I also found myself assessing more oral exams – this time on Brexit. Having spent days learning the syllabus on the special relationship between the US and the UK in order to assess students’ oral exams last term, it’s safe to say that I found it a lot easier to prepare for assessing students on Brexit this semester.

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Jardin Botanique de Lyon

With time running out, I’ve been making a conscious effort to see more of the city itself. I’ve now seen all there is to see with my Carte Jeune Musée, which is arguably one of the best investments I’ve made during my time in Lyon. For the princely sum of €7, I could visit each of Lyon’s municipal museums once (and sometimes skip the queues). Of the four museums I visited this month, the Musée de l’Imprimerie et de la Communication Graphique was by far my favourite (mostly due to its temporary exhibition on the bande dessinée), closely followed by the Musée de l’Automobile Henri Malartre (which had a particularly nice collection of penny farthings). A more in-depth post on these cultural gems is coming to a screen near you soon! (Read: Sunday.)

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Musée de l’Imprimerie et de la Communication Graphique

Having thoroughly enjoyed my solo hike to the summit of Crêt de la Perdrix at the end of April, I took myself off to Saint Chamond once again for another taste of the Parc Naturel Régional du Pilat. This time, I plotted a route through the foothills of the natural park to Rive-de-Gier via Sainte-Croix-en-Jarez, another of France’s prettiest villages. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, though as per my legs seem to be feeling otherwise. (Maybe that has something to do with the fact the hike was thirty one kilometres long and the thermometer was at almost 25°C.) More to come on this little jaunt in due course.

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Parc Naturel Régional du Pilat

Last week, the Parc de la Tête d’Or played host to Open Parc, a new event on the 2017 ATP World Tour calendar. Qualifying matches on the opening day were free to watch on any court, and there was no charge to watch matches on Courts 1 and 2 for the duration of the tournament. Naturally, I was only too happy to plonk myself in the sunshine for several days over the course of that week and watch some tennis on clay! I saw a mixture of singles and doubles matches, including Kyle Edmund (the only Brit in the tournament, to my knowledge) and Nick Kyrgios (who just about maintained control of his temper).

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Open Parc
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Open Parc

With temperatures now hovering around 25°C most days, I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the park, either with my books or picnicking with friends. The Jardin Botanique, located within the Parc de la Tête d’Or, is looking particularly impressive at the moment, with the rose garden in bloom and other plants back in the open after spending the winter months in the greenhouses.

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Jardin Botanique de Lyon

May was rounded off with a long weekend in Paris, planned around a trip to Roland Garros. Once I discovered I’d be spending this year in France, I set my heart on spending a day at the French Open; fortunately, it lived up to expectations, even though the sweltering heat made us feel a little uncomfortable at times. Laurence and I also made it out to Versailles (which for us felt just a wee bit overhyped) and Giverny (a spot which had been on my to-see list for quite some time), alongside clocking up thousands of steps wandering round the metropolis itself. I’ll save all the details of this trip for future posts, which in all likelihood won’t be up for another month or so.

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View from the Arc de Triomphe, Paris
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17 thoughts on “La Vie Lyonnaise #10 | J-29

  1. I’m giggling at some of those mis-translations. The first time I invigilated exams I didn’t know the rules and no one explained them to me. Oh wait, that’s the story of my entire time in France. Just kidding. Kind of. Tennis in the park looks epic!! It definitely looks like you made the most of your time in Lyon. I can’t wait to read about Giverny – I really loved it when I went!

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    1. Knowing a few giggles are guaranteed makes the marking that little bit easier! Luckily for me, I had an invigilating session with two others before I was chucked in a room invigilating alone, otherwise I would definitely have been in the same situation. The tennis in the park was fantastic – and I only came across the event as (for once) I decided to read the local magazine! (Prints ads in the park didn’t pop up until a few days before the event, would you believe it?) Giverny was so beautiful – it certainly lived up to expectations, and I’m looking forward to writing that trip up when I find the time. (Trying to balance my time between catching up on blogging, and making the most of my last few weeks in Lyon.)

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      1. Wow, I can’t believe such a big event wasn’t advertised more in advance! I always used to pick up a local newspaper to read on the metro but then I never read it because the metro was so crowded. Enjoy your last few weeks in Lyon!! I will miss your updates on La Vie Lyonnaise !

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      2. Me neither – closer to the event I began to see a few posters in the park itself, but didn’t come across anything elsewhere! All the better for me though, as it meant there were plenty of seats on the free courts 🙂 Thanks – only two to go now, the end is fast approaching. (100% guilty of taking as many trips to the boulangeries as is feasibly possible while I live in close proximity to them.) I’ll have to think of another monthly update series – location pending!

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      3. I’m really going to miss the daily supply of fresh baguettes and pastries, though I’m sure my waistline will thank me for it! Hoping I’ll have an idea of “what’s next” soonish 🙂

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  2. really cool that you got to spend a day at the French Open! I’ve always wanted to be a spectator at a grand slam. a few years ago i bought tickets to the Paris Masters with the hopes of watching Roger Federer play…but he had dropped out of the tournament a week before! dommage!

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    1. It was so cool, and I’d definitely recommend it if you get a chance to go! I’ve been to Wimbledon a few times, but I really enjoyed the French Open – a different atmosphere for sure, and the pace of a match on clay is so different to one on grass. That must have been frustrating! At least it looks like he plans to keep on playing for a while 🙂 The ATP World Tour Finals are good too – takes place in November in London, and you can get tickets for a reasonable price for the early stages of the event.

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  3. I agree with you that time seems to pass by so much faster when you’re having fun (the cruelest paradox out there, in my book). I can imagine how bittersweet it must be to leave soon. Reading your posts throughout this year, it sounds like you really made the most of it living and teaching in Lyon, making friends and exploring the region in-depth; I’m sure that you know the Rhône-Alpes region like the back of your hand already! Enjoy the last of your time in Lyon, and I wish you the best when you return to England. 🙂

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    1. It really is the cruellest of things – just as I have plenty of time on my hands (for the first time in what feels like months), it seems to evaporate! It’s turning into a bittersweet ending – I know I’m going to miss Lyon (and France generally) when I leave, but I’ll always be able to find an excuse to return. I’ve found it difficult to strike a good work/ life balance at times, but it’s been a great experience overall. Thanks – and I hope life in the States is treating you well!

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  4. It really does look like you’re doing really well to make the most of the rest of your time in Lyon! Your posts really make me want to spend some more time there. I’m trying to see as much as possible in Toulouse too as I leave in under 2 weeks!

    Your story about your colleague took me back to some of the complete disorganisation I experienced for exams here too!! Hope you enjoy your last weeks in Lyon 🙂

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    1. It’s definitely been easier to take trips now that I’ve finished teaching and just have admin and marking to take care of! There’s certainly plenty to see in Lyon and the surrounding area, so hope you make it back one day to see more of it. Your recent posts on the Basque region have been tempting me to venture over that way at some point! I think when the end approaches you suddenly feel under more pressure to squeeze everything in, even if you’ve staggered a fair number of trips across the year! Exams are chaotic here to say the least… Same to you – enjoy the rest of your time in Toulouse 🙂

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      1. That’s good! I managed to travel a bit whilst studying and doing exams but it was very limited, it’s nice to properly have free time again! I’m sure I’ll be back in Lyon one day 🙂 You should absolutely go to the Basque region! It’s so beautiful. Our bus back to Toulouse was actually finishing in Lyon so if you ever fancy a 15+ hour journey they definitely go direct 😛 I’m feeling the pressure in Toulouse now as I have so little time! Since it’s pretty small though I think I’ve seen most things! Thank you so much, hope everything goes well with your return to the UK too 🙂

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      2. Term time is so hectic that it’s a relief to be (almost) free of all responsibilities! Who doesn’t love a 15h+ coach journey?! I’ve had my fair share of them over the past couple of months 😛 That’s nice you feel you’ve managed to see most of it, hope the weather’s nice for your remaining time there 🙂

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